TUFF 2014 - Maarit Suomi-Väänänen Minispectacles Trio Takes Top Honour; Other Award Winners Announced

TORONTO ON, September 14, 2014 – The 8th annual Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF), North America’s largest commuter film festival, announced its 2014 award recipients tonight at a special gala reception held at the Drake Hotel in Toronto.

To celebrated TUFF’s best one-minute silent films, guest judge Guy Maddin, (Heart of the World, My Winnipeg, The Saddest Music in the World) presented top honours and the $3,000 prize to Finland’s Maarit Suomi-Väänänen for her beautiful and captivating one-minute short, Minispectacles Trio - http://bit.ly/1urBYNP.  Second prize and $2,000 was awarded to John Nobrega and Lucero Milchorena (Toronto ON) for The Moon Cried, and third prize and $1,000 to Philippe Allard and Tomi Grgicevic (Montreal PQ) for Télescopage. Maddin also presented awards for Honourable Mentions to Wrik Mead of Toronto, Ontario for 1975 (kiss), Carlo Sampietro of New York, NY for Bunda Pandeiro, and Ben Jacobson of Leicester, UK for Candy Crime.

The City of Toronto Film Office’s Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Toronto Filmmakers and the $2,500 prize was awarded to Toronto’s Krusan Sivanayagam for Recreate. Maddin awarded the Honourable Mention for the Naish McHugh Award and the $750 Whites Interactive rental prize to Toronto’s Jonah Haber for James.

"What an extreme pleasure it was for me to watch all the films in this wonderful festival. Short films, oddly, can often feel long, but ALL of TUFF entrants simply raced past my eyes, always leaving me ready to watch more,” said Guest Judge Guy Maddin. “The variety was incredible -- who knew there were so many ways to cram so much into one silent minute! With so many smart, gorgeous films in the running, I had a tough decision to make, but I'm happy to have chosen for first place Maarit Suomi-Väänänen’s Minispectacles Trio. What a great year! Congratulations to everyone."

TUFF’s top awarded films screen on Monday, September 15th on PATTISON Onestop’s subway platform screens in stations across the city as the 2014 festival comes to a close.

“Throughout TUFF’s history, we’ve continued to expand access for film lovers with this uniquely urban public art experience that is like no other,” said Sharon Switzer, TUFF Executive Director. “Our audiences are always at the centre of this amazing Festival, but we couldn’t have TUFF without incredible works. Congratulations to all of this year’s filmmakers for providing rich and satisfying cinematic experiences, if only for a minute.”

Awards were also handed out for the following categories by Switzer and TUFF programmer Angie Driscoll (Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Aspen Shortsfest):

  • Viewer’s ChoiceJames, Jonah Haber, Toronto, Canada
  • Best AnimationFoxed! James Stewart & Kennedy Zielke, Toronto, Canada
  • Best Emerging FilmmakerHappy Birthday, Maxim Moskalev, Vaughan, Canada
  • Canadian Urbanism AwardIntersection, Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley, Kingston, Canada
  • Most Ambitious Film by a Female DirectorCHOMP, Rebeca Ortiz, Sai Xu, Toronto, Canada
  • The Drake Award for Best Local FilmThe Lonely Monster, Philip Leung, Jerome Skeete, Toronto, Canada
  • Best DocumentaryChild Labour, Mohamad Reza Keivanfar, Gorgan, Golestan, Iran
  • Best Experimental FilmOh When the Saints: Sacrament and Dissolution, Benjamin Rosenthal, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
  • Best NarrativeClock, Teymour Ghaderi, Sanandaj, Kurdestan, Iran
  • Best ComedyCandy Crime, Ben Jacobson, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK
  • Special Jury PrizeMinispectacles Along (Too TUFF), Maarit Suomi-Väänänen; Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland and Cue Ball Ascending, Duke Redbird, Toronto, Canada
  • Toronto Lens AwardThis Town of Toronto … (excerpt), Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Toronto, Canada  
  • City StoriesNight Moves, Jonathan Lall, Toronto, Canada

Prizes awarded for the 8th annual TUFF totaled $24,500 in cash and in-kind products and services.


The Toronto Urban Film Festival thanks its funders, sponsors and supporters. Funders: NBCUniversal Canada, Ontario Arts Council, Pattison Outdoor. Lead Sponsors: City of Toronto, Drake Hotel, Toon Boom Animation, William F. White International Inc., Sony Creative Software. Industry Sponsors: Red Giant Software, Women in Film & Television Toronto (WIFT-T), Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival. Contributing Sponsors: Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Images Festival, Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, imagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Spacing Magazine, Colourfast Printing. Supported by: Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

TUFF is produced by PATTISON Onestop and co-produced by Art for Commuters. TUFF is funded by NBCUniversal Canada and the Ontario Arts Council.


TUFF films and curated programs are available year-round and featured on TUFF’s website. In addition to voting during the festival, viewers are encouraged to rate and comment on the films throughout the year.


Where to find TUFF:


About PATTISON Outdoor Advertising and PATTISON Onestop

PATTISON Outdoor Advertising, a division of The Jim Pattison Group, is Canada’s largest Out-of-Home advertising company. Since 1908, PATTISON has been providing innovative solutions for Out-of-Home advertising opportunities with products ranging from traditional billboards and posters to transit, digital, airports, mall, residential, office, and street furniture. PATTISON also offers Canada’s largest portfolio of Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising properties, through PATTISON Onestop, a world-leader in the design, operation, and advancement of digital advertising networks for the office, transportation, mall, sports retail, and residential environments. PATTISON Outdoor Advertising is the exclusive supplier for advertising on the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) transit system. www.pattisononestop.com   www.pattisonoutdoor.com


About Art for Commuters

Art for Commuters (A4C) was founded in 2007, and brings over 200 artworks per year to the Pattison Onestop TTC subway platform screens and shopping mall screens across Canada. Through these projects, Art for Commuters offers a wide range of contemporary artistic voices, including photographers, filmmakers, video artists, and animators, the opportunity to showcase their work in the public spaces frequented by urban travellers. Art for Commuters collective members are by Sharon Switzer, Jean-Paul Kelly, Lori Newdick, and Claire Sykes. www.art4commuters.com


For more information please contact: Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist, PATTISON Onestop

Tel: 416-762-7702   |    E-mail: mnazar@idirect.ca